Nintendo unveiled the fullest look yet at the specs and launch lineup for its new console, the Nintendo Switch, late Thursday evening in a global simulcast stream originating in Japan. While new features were fleshed out and new games like Super Mario Odyssey were unveiled, the company held the most in-demand reveal back until the very end: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild will be a launch title.
Originally teased as a title for the Wii U, Breath of The Wild had been rumored as an early dual-release for Nintendo’s new console as well. But not many were expecting that the company would set its release along with the Switch, making it by default easily the biggest title to be debuting with the new hardware on March 3, 2017.
The latest console-based installment of the Legend of Zelda franchise, Breath of The Wild once again finds players exploring the mysterious fantasy kingdom of Hyrule and battling the menace of Ganon. Notably, it has not yet been revealed where in the timeline of the series (which involves a heroic legacy being passed through generations of various main characters) the game takes place, though the title does feature a graphical aesthetic that combines features of several of the most popular modern incarnations of the property.
Also left unsaid are the full identities of the main characters. While the female lead has been identified as Zelda in marketing materials, it is yet unclear whether the main character is officially a new incarnation of traditional hero Link or some new take on the legacy. It has been speculated that Zelda herself may also serve as a playable character, though without any genuine confirmation from the developers or producers. Some early rumors had suggested a female or gender-optional version of Link, though this does not now appear to be the case.
Viewed as a successor to and replacement for the Wii U console, which earned praise for its inventive dual-screen interface but failed to attract a sizable consumer base or third party support, the Switch aims to unify Nintendo’s console and portable game divisions into a singular product line via groundbreaking new technology that allows the system to convert from a traditional television-based unit to a handheld device and back again. It also features modular controller components that can be detached for local multiplayer capability.
Screen Rant will have more details for you on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as they are made available.